February 17, 2019

Students’ efforts blossom with help of community gardeners

Observer photo by Laura Gigllotti Students at Williston Central School tend to the garden they now share with Taft Corners Community Gardens

Observer photo by Laura Gigliotti
Students at Williston Central School tend to the garden they now share with Taft Corners Community Gardens

By Laura Gigliotti

Special to the Observer

There was a new addition to the Williston Central School gardens this spring.

Twelve raised beds have been installed by the Taft Corners Community Gardeners, combining the relocated gardens from Harvest Lane to the existing beds at the Garden for Life, located at Williston Central.

Last fall, Tafts Corners community gardeners reached out to garden coordinator Laura Gigliotti seeking a new home for their gardens. Sadly, their space on the block behind Bed Bath & Beyond was being built on.

Luckily for the community gardeners, there was ample space at WCS and true excitement for the gardens to merge.

Tafts Corners community garden beds will be cared for by individual “renters” from our community and the WCS garden beds will continue to grow in an effort led by the students.

Additionally, there is a designated bed to grow food for the Williston Food Shelf that will be maintained by everyone.

“This has been a win -win for both parties,” said Laura Gigliotti.

The gardens have been growing at WCS since 2007, each year expanding in different ways, but this has always been a goal, to become a true Community Garden.

The students have enjoyed exploring the new beds and observing the different techniques people use to grow their food.

This outdoor classroom space continues to be driven by its mission statement: Offering an opportunity for learning and team building. To give the children of our schools the opportunity to engage in active learning and exploration through gardening, creating essential connections between people, plants and the earth and to inspire lifelong healthy choices. Much of the food grown goes directly into the school’s cafeteria and the children take great pride in knowing they contributed to the school lunch.

As the year came to a close last week, the students had harvested spinach, lettuce, radishes and chives; all enjoyed in the cafeteria salad bar.

Laura Gigliotti is the WCS garden coordinator. If you are interested in helping or renting a garden plot, please contact her at lgigliotti@cssu.org

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